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Nebraska is a no-fault divorce state. This means you do not have to prove who is at fault in your marriage to obtain a divorce. However, that does not mean “fault’ and “blame” are entirely removed from the process. 

The “reasons” for a divorce are as complex, varied, and messy as divorce itself. However, just because you do not have to prove fault as a statutory requirement to be granted a divorce, fault and blame are often at the forefront of a spouse’s mind throughout the process.

As divorce attorneys, we are privy to stories of heartbreak that are weaved together with the complicated emotions of grief, fault, loss, relief, blame, regret, and hopefulness. Not being required to prove fault proves to be useful because we can acknowledge and support our clients through the emotional turmoil, while focusing on possibilities and carving a path for new beginnings. We can focus our attention on the future rather than collecting evidence about each of the spouse’s negative actions leading to the breakdown of a marriage.

On an emotional level, it is incredibly challenging to untangle and detach the feelings of fault and blame while you are going through your own divorce, or witnessing a divorce of a loved one. However, in the legal process, your lawyer will not scrutinize the history of your marriage to identify your shortcomings or incompatibilities as a couple. Likewise, the court will set aside those issues in favor of focusing on each spouse’s future, the terms of their property and financial issues, and the best interests of their children. 

As a no-fault divorce state, the court has the authority to grant a divorce, as long as one of the spouses confirms that the marriage is “irretrievably broken.” Essentially, this advises the court that you have experienced difficulties in your marriage, you have attempted efforts of reconciliation, that no other efforts of reconciliation would be successful, and that you want a dissolution of your marriage. 

The phrase “irretrievably broken” is used in lieu of having to explain and “prove” all of the reasons why a marriage should be dissolved, and as long as this phrase is included in the formal pleadings filed with the Court, the judge will grant a divorce.

While the phrase “irretrievably broken” is surely an insufficient term to describe the emotional complexities of divorce, in the divorce process, it helps set aside blame and fault and instead encourages focus on the future.  
Angela Lennon

"You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody."

~ Maya Angelour.



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A Mom in Shining Armor
“I hate him,” she sent the text in a fury. It came across my screen like an arrow, not so much aimed at my heart but at least my shoulder, causing me to metaphorically wince. “What happened?” I replied. She told me the tale – none of the details relevant – because all my heart hurt about was her distress, sadness, and pain.

All kids experience this at some point about each of their parents. And if you are sitting there smugly reading this and thinking my child will never hate me – let me tell you the day is coming, or it has already passed, and you were lucky enough not to have those thoughts from your child shared with you.

I suspect if my former spouse and I were still married and living in the same house together and these words had been thrown at one of us – later, in private and out of earshot of our child, we may have commiserated, smiled, and backed the other for whatever action led to the aggrieved angst of our teenager.

Coach's Corner
with Susan Ann Koenig
Miracles

Divorced nearly 30 years ago, Susan shares how a horrific accident reminded a divorced couple of the one thing they could always agree on. 

He opened his eyes and saw the stars. The roof of his Prius was gone. His hand dangled from the end of his arm.  

Benjamin had safely driven west over a thousand miles en route from Los Angeles when the teen driver heading the opposite direction crossed over the median of I-80 and hit his car head-on. 

The miracles were many and immediate. Being a half-mile from the exit to Kearney, Nebraska where the sign read “Hospital.” Being life-flighted to the trauma center at the hospital in his hometown where he was born. Being alive. 

Who is Koenig|Dunne?
For over 35 years, the Koenig|Dunne team has been helping people pick up the pieces of their life to make a new start. Bringing a family business back from the brink of financial ruin. Sheltering a child from the conflict of a custody battle. We do this work because its work we know matters.

Whether an amicable collaboration or lengthy litigation lies ahead, we’re the team who will empower you on your path to a better future, from start to finish. That’s a promise. We promise you – we will see you, hear you, and stand by you. Learn More
Guidance when you want it. Strength because you need it.
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